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energy title, zero. that is absolutely unacceptable. we also would not see the full conservation title extended. key areas involving protecting land and open spaces that i know ducks unlimited and pheasants forever and other -- others that hunt and fish care deeply about in terms of protecting our open spaces. other areas that protect our land and our water would not be extended under this partial farm bill extension. we would not see critical research for organic or specialty crops that are so important, that create almost half the cash receipts in agriculture in the country. we would not see that support
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continue. there are multiple things that would not continue not because we've gone through a process to eliminate them. in fact, 64 people in this body voted to continue, and in some cases increase funding in those areas while cutting back on the subsidies that we should not be spending money on. but here's what happens under this extension. the subsidies we agreed to end continue. it's amazing, you know, how it happens that the folks that want the government subsidies find a way to try to keep them at all costs. not in the light of day. they could not sustain a debate in the committee on debate on the floor, where we voted to eliminate direct payments. but somehow they're able to come back around at the end and keep that government money, even when
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prices are high. even when no one could look straight in the face of any taxpayer and say they ought to be getting that subsidy. yet, under the leader -- republican leader's partial extension of the farm bill, those subsidies that we voted to eliminate would be fully continued. fully continued. now, in our version agreed to by chairman lucas and myself, put on the calendar by speaker boehner, on the suspension calendar in the house by the rules committee in the house, agreed to on the calendar in the house, we would shave a portion of those subsidies to make sure that we continue to fund all of the farm bill for the next nine months until we can once again come together and write a farm
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bill. but i have to say as somebody who's been operating in good faith with the committee and the floor to find this situation occurring that is not agreed to on a bipartisan basis, not put forward on a bipartisan basis, i find it to be absolutely outrageous. and it makes you wonder what's really going on here. if in the end the things we agreed to, the things that we worked hard to develop into a farm bill that saves $24 billion at a time when we are right now, people are sitting in rooms trying to decide how to get deficit reduction. and we pass something that saves $24 billion in a fiscally responsible way, cutting programs. we cut 100 different programs and authorizations. we went through every single
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page of the farm bill, which is what we ought to be doing in every part of government to be responsible, to make the tough choices, to set good priorities. we did that. and now at the last minute none of that matters? they're trying to stick in an extension that only extends part of the farm programs and keep 100% of the direct subsidies going. madam president, that's amazing to me. i have to say that is absolutely amazing to me. and i want to hear somebody justify that on the floor. now we're going to hear all kinds of things. well, the extension involves possibly a budget point of order. this whole bill coming to the floor is going to have multiple points of order that we're going to have to waive. this is not about procedure or budget points of order. it's about whether or not we mean it when we say we want to reform agricultural subsidies.
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whether or not we mean it when we say we care about rural america and farmers and ranchers who want to know that they can have certainty after five-year farm bill and not just limp along. and i can see it coming limping along limping along extension after extension just like we seem to have happening never where here. and i thought agriculture was the one area where we were not going to do that. i was so proud when we came together on a bipartisan basis and worked together. regular order. the leaders both said this was the right way to do things. it was regular order. 73 amendments. we went through it. a senator: madam president? would the senator from michigan yield for a question? ms. stabenow: i would be happy to. spoeup the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: thank you, madam president, thank you to the leader of the agriculture committee, the senator from michigan, who has steered this
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chamber through complex issues trying to address the true agricultural needs of this nation while spending the taxpayer dollar efficiently and in fact producing a huge amount of savings in the overall bill. but i wanted to ask you a couple of questions in regard to the points that you're making. if i understood you right, first, the disaster assistance for america's ranchers and farmers and/or charreddists that have been -- and orchardists that have been approved in the farm bill and sent to the senate are not in the republican leader's version that he wants to put through the floor of this chamber. ms. stabenow: yes. madam president, i would say to my friend and strong advocate on these issues, it is not. those disaster provisions are not in the extension that he has arbitrarily on his own put forward. mr. merkley: just a couple of days ago, due to the efforts that you engaged in and i
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engaged in and others joined us -- senator blunt, very instrumental in this -- we had a debate about putting those emergency provisions into the emergency bill for hurricane sandy, and i heard the republican leader of the budget committee stand up and say don't worry, farmers and ranchers of america, because we're going to get those provisions passed in the farm bill. but from what i'm hearing now that promise is being broken tonight by the republican leader. ms. stabenow: if i might respond, yes, that is exactly what's happening. without consultation with me or with the chairman in the house, we now have a partial extension of the farm bill. these are complex issues that involve a lot of pieces when you try to extend all 12 titles of the farm bill. and they do not -- they not only
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do not extend all the titles, but they do not include critical disaster assistance, which, as you know, our farmers and ranchers have been waiting for across america. mr. merkley: if i can try to translate this for the farmers and ranchers in my state of oregon and the orchardists and ranchers in your state, this chamber committed itself to restoring the emergency disaster programs either through the farm bill or through some other mechanism, but we have left them hanging since the fires and the drought of july and august, since the cold weather problems that occurred a year ago, we've left them hanging without disaster assistance. and now the promise made a couple days ago that would get this done in the farm bill is being broken. how could i possibly explain to my farmers and ranchers that when they had the worst fire in a century, larger than the state
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of rhode island burn their fences burn their forage, burn their cattle when others had some of the coldest weather that destroyed the crop, how can i explain to them that not only do some of our republican colleagues and apparently the republican leader consider that not to be a disaster, but the very argument made a couple days ago to not put it in the sandy bill is now being thrown aside? ms. stabenow: i would say to my friend and colleague from oregon, there is no way to explain this. none. there is absolutely no way to explain this other than agriculture is just not a priority. despite our best efforts and our working together to get something done, certainly hasn't been a priority in the house with the republican leadership. it has been on the committee. i thoroughly enjoyed working with my counterpart in the house. we worked together on a bipartisan basis, but we couldn't even get a bill taken up in the house. i do appreciate the fact that when they didn't act in the house that in fact they have
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agreed to do the extension that we put together, at least that's what they were willing to do. honestly never thought the problem would be here in the senate, because we had passed a farm bill. we passed a farm bill. we passed a farm bill with disaster assistance with $24 billion in deficit reduction in a strong bipartisan way, with support, supportive words in terms of the process from the leaders. i am so shocked to see that the problem now is here in the senate with the republican leader. and there is just no excuse for this. mr. merkley: you've worked over the past year to find a bipartisan strategy to reform elements of the farm bill that we're spending too much money in certain places, and to reform those overly generous subsidies, if you will, and make them kind of fit the circumstances.
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and you've saved a lot of money in the process. am i to understand that the republican leader has taken those reforms designed to wisely spend the taxpayers' money in the right places and has thrown them out the window? ms. stabenow: in this extension that he's proposed, the subsidies called direct payments that we've all agreed should not be given during high prices in good times to farmers, extend with absolutely no reductions. they are fully extended for the next nine months. and who knows how much longer. i'm sure the folks that want to have them are going to try to just keep farm bills and doing extensions as long as they can in order to get the money. $5 billion a year. $5 billion a year that we have agreed in taxpayer money should not be spent. i also want to say it's not that we don't need to support agriculture. and i know that my friend agrees with that. whether it's disaster
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assistance, whether it's crop insurance, we need to give them risk-management tools, conservation tools. we need to make sure we've got strong crop insurance. we need to make sure there's disaster assistance there. but in good times you shouldn't be able to get a government check when prices are high or in good times, which is what some in agriculture have been doing and getting. and it's wrong and it's fully continued in what the republican leader has put forward. mr. merkley: i would say to my colleague, i have sat on this floor and listened to lectures on fiscal responsibility and the need to move things and work things in committee before they come to the floor. the work that you did was the best of those two qualities. everything being done in committee, being in open conversation, dialogue, working it out, bring it to the floor, having debate on the floor in front of the american people, in front of our colleagues, complete openness and a complete sense of fiscal responsibility. so are those lectures that i've
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been hearing about fiscal responsibility and committee process, are they just lectures but no real belief in them? ms. stabenow: if i say to my colleague, i certainly cannot indicate what intent is of another colleague, but i will tell you that my mom always said actions speak louder than words. all i can tell you is that the actions here, the ax that have been occurring -- the actions that have been occurring go in the opposite direction both of supporting farms and ranchers in a comprehensive way by fully extending the farm bill for the next nine months and by allowing the complete 100% extension of subsidies that we voted to eliminate. all i can tell you is it doesn't make any sense to me. it certainly goes against what i have heard over and over again on the floor. and i also find it just amazing to me that when we, by passing
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the farm bill -- if the farm bill were included in this agreement, we would have $24 billion more in deficit reduction to be able to report to the american people. and they are saying, no. i don't understand that. mr. merkley: there is one more piece of this i want to clarify because i'm not sure where the republican leader's, minority leader's version came out on this. and that is farmers have gotten a very unfair deal, and that deal was that they were going to be charged extra for their insurance. in exchange they were supposed to get the organic price of a particular crop, and we fixed that here on the floor of the senate. we addressed that and we said, no, the department of agriculture that was supposed to get the studies done to get the organic prices in place so the price up front had the backside as well, we gave them a confined number of years to get that done, to rectify that injustice. is that now missing out of the
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proposal for the republican leader? ms. stabenow: yes. in fact, the organic provisions are not funded, are not extended. so this is, again when we look at the future of agriculture, choices for consumers, this is not extended. mr. merkley: how can one possibly justify charging organic farmers more because they're going to get a higher insurance compensation but then saying you won't get a higher insurance compensation. we're going to take that away. so it operates as a structural effort to basically take money away from the organic community and take it away from the nonorganic community? how can one possibly justify stripping that out of this extension? ms. stabenow: i would just say to my friend from oregon, it makes no sense. this is certainly not about fairness. it's not about an open process. i mean, when you mentioned earlier that we had worked in a very open and transparent
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process, we did throughout the committee, throughout the floor, even those who didn't support the farm bill indicated that they supported the openness, the due process, the ability to provide amendments to have them voted on up or down, and now to take what was the consensus view of what things should look like and basically throw it out the window at the last minute makes me wonder what -- what's the motivation here, what is really going on? and all i can see is that in the end, what we have is a situation where the government subsidies that we eliminated are extended 100%, and those who behind the scenes have been trying to continue to get the government money appear to have been successful at least with the republican leader. mr. merkley: so i will in closing my part of this
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colloquy, i just -- i want to thank you for clarifying those three points, that the disaster relief is out, that the pork is in, and that the organic farmers are going to continue to get the short end of the stick. it seems to me like that's three strikes and you're out. and i didn't even address many of the other points that i heard you raising. it's your -- your outrage about this is so deeply justified. i certainly will be standing with you as we try to make sure that the good work done in committee and on the floor of the senate for fiscal responsibility, for fairness to farmers, for fairness to those who have suffered disasters, for fairness to those who are in the organic or in the nonorganic world, that these things do not -- these mistakes, these three strikes-plus do not carry forward through this chamber. thank you for your leadership. ms. stabenow: thank you very much. and again, i want to thank the senator from oregon for his
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leadership on disaster assistance, on support for the organic agricultural community and for others that benefit from his leadership forestry, other areas. the senator from oregon has been a very, very strong leader, and i want to thank you for your words and for your actions in standing up and fighting for the people that we're supposed to be fighting for. i mean, the farmers and ranchers across the country, like every other american right now, is shaking their head what is going on. i know that there is a lot of work going on to come up with a larger agreement, but for those of us who care about many things but want to make sure that agricultural is not lost in this, i am deeply, deeply concerned. this is the second largest industry for me in michigan. it is the largest industry for many places in the country.
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and yet, i don't see agriculture being the priority it needs to be, either on disaster assistance, help for those who have been hit so hard by drought or by an early warmth and then a freeze in the orchards. where is the willingness to stand up and support farmers and ranchers across the country? i used to be able to say -- i have said up to this point, well, the support was in the senate where we passed a bipartisan farm bill, and that we worked together very closely to do that, but tonight i find that rather than proceeding in a bipartisan way, which has been what we have done, rather than consulting with myself as chair in the senate, chairman lucas in the house, we see a proposal that neither one of us has put forward or supported that is adamantly opposed by many
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people, is now being offered up as the approach to extend part of the farm bill, picking and choosing arbitrarily what should be extended and not, not doing disaster assistance and not being willing to shave off even 2.5% of these government subsidies in order to be able to fully fund an extension for the next nine months. 2.5%, 2.5% of direct payments is what we are talking about in order to be able to extend critical important priorities for people across the country, for consumers, for farmers, for ranchers, for people in this chamber. and so i can only assume based on what i see that this is the effort of the group who has been trying very hard to make sure
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that their subsidies continue and that they continue unabated 100% and that this is their opportunity when we're trying to do deficit reduction, which i find amazing, that this is in the context of a deficit reduction package, and i'm still going to be looking to see where the deficit reduction is, but deficit reduction package, it will not accept $24 billion in savings in agriculture, and now instead puts in place policies that will take us in the exact opposite direction. it's very, very unfortunate, and i have been spending the day expressing grave concerns, i will continue to do that. there is absolutely no reason this can't be fixed before the proposal comes to this body. it absolutely can be fixed. people of goodwill in
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agriculture have worked together. every step of the way, certainly in this chamber and we can continue to do that if there is a desire to do it, and i hope that there is because there is a tremendous amount at stake. and let me say again, 16 million people across our country pay their bills because of income that they received through agriculture for the food industry. small fearps, large farmers. they want the certainty of a five-year farm bill, and they also want to know that we're working together with their interests in mind. i hope we can still see that happen. thank you, mr. president. i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask consent the senate stand in recess subject to the call of the chair. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. recess:
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tax breaks are very important to the company and i mention they receive a tax break in that area and it's also a nexus of factors and the result of companies sifting through those factors in some way i don't understand those are some of the factors. they tend to produce functions of these data centers and certain parts of the country. >> host: are these decided by communities to get a data center like a factory opening up in the community? >> guest: it's a mixed bag. i mean you know that is a really good question. i think on the level of town leadership they are very much alike because they do increase the tax base, for example the property taxes being collected in quincy have increased a lot since the first day the senators came in not all because of the data centers but may have attracted other business as well and that is a positive thing.
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i think with criticism in a place like in quincy when they use powers far more than the town itself and they create a modest number of jobs and that is sort of what goes on locally. the other thing that you see is because data centers, it's a very secretive business. often the data you're mincing -- mentioning in quincy i can't think of a single one that has the name of the company on the outside of the data center. from what i could tell when i was out there doesn't necessary feel great community relations. i don't know if that's a make or break issue but they're not much for the outreach let's say in the local community. >> host: y. so much secretiveness and are they heavily secured? >> guest: they are. you know, it depends on who you talk to on that one. the companies will say that you know they are trying to guard
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against mischief, some kind of cyber attack or something like that. but at the same time i think there are reasons more matters of convenience and they don't particularly want the world peeking into how much energy they are using and it's sort of not a good thing for them, not a good message for them and sometimes they say the competitive issue. their reason might be that they could decode their operations but i think more than anything to sell you the truth peter it's a matter of habit. they have gotten used to doing this without any scrutiny and i just found a lot of astonishment when i would walk up to the door as a reporter and say hi i'm from "the new york times" and i'm going to read about your data center. it's just that kind of world. >> host: what was the response when he walked up to the door and said hi i'm from "the new york times"? what was silicon valley's response to that? >> guest: walking right up to the door never worked. let's put it that way. i actually did that a couple of
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times, but what you do find, you find a great thing about reporting you know around the world in this country as well is that there is always somebody there to tell the story, who wants to tell the story. i call them choose tellers and so i found the right people to get me some access to data centers. i wanted to see at least some of them and was able to get in that way but it was never easy and i was shot down many times, figuratively shot down, and trying to get access to data centers and just get a look inside. >> host: james glanz do these data centers employ a lot of people? are they high-tech jobs? >> guest: that is where you get a debate. i think that there is no question, i think i can say i'm controversially that they don't imply that many people. because you take the huge data center in quincy, the microsoft data center you mentioned, again i don't have the figures with me but somewhere between 50 and 150
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jobs i think would be a fair statement. but it's using electricity more characteristic of heavy manufacturing. what i showed in the pieces that the data center industry in the united states uses about the much electricity from the red as the paper industry does. you know but of course the employment situation is a different one. now communities will also say, and this is a fair statement especially leaders of communities that for a town like quincy that's a lot of jobs. so you know that is where the debate takes place and it wasn't the central, a central thesis of my story so don't think i'm going to go too far on that but it's definitely a pointed debate. >> host: nationwide you write, data centers used about 76 billion-kilowatt hours in 2010 or roughly 2% of all electricity used in the country that year and you go on to say that google data centers consume
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nearly 300 million watts in facebook, about 60 million watts. can you help us but those 300 million watts and 60 million watts into perspective a little bit? how much energy is that? >> guest: well, the lightbulb uses 100 watts. it's a lot of energy. first of all i have to say that facebook and google are some of the more enlightened players in relative terms as to how they use that electricity. i think this is an evolving conversation as to what is responsible me but they are more forward-leaning than let's say many banks or big box stores or something like that in how the kind of technology they use to try to reduce the waste. nevertheless, even in those cases what these figures show you is that this is incredibly energy intensive industry. last year after i asked google for its energy figures it never release them, so i started this
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report and i'm not saying they did it only because i asked them to, but i bother them enough that maybe it played a role in their decision to release their figures last year for the first time and they did it again this year. last year the figure was almost 250 million watts. this year it's 300, so that the growth of 50 in just one year and remember that a town like quincy, let's just take a town of 7000, if you look at the houses and the small businesses in quincy, i think there may be using something more like 10 megawatts or something like that. so you were talking about the amounts that are been, large urban areas would use or extremely large steel plants or something like that. that is the order we are speaking about and you mentioned 2%. 2% is roughly the amount that a lot of industries use. if you look at the transportation manufacturing industry, it's around 2%.
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if you look at the pulp industry in the united states, i'm talking its 2% of the total and the steel industry, it's hard to compare apples-to-apples when all these industries are very different but if you look at the energy they are using from the grid, the steel industry is in that same area. it has arrived as a heavy industry in terms of how much electricity they are using for for the great in the united states. >> host: to put that even more and perspective you also write that 48 billion watts equals about 29,000 -- james glanz, you also call quote and analyst, saying if companies don't change their practices they will hit a brick wall. what does that mean? >> guest: well he is in a unique position. he was an executive, let's say a technical official ed pdna which is one of the largest utilities,
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folks in california and his job was to follow data centers. now he looks at both utility aspects in data centers and their i.t. practices, their computer practices. what he is talking about is that this is going on, this growth has happened behind the scenes so quickly and with so little scrutiny that some of these practices that he sees as extremely wasteful are taking them into energy and disease which he doesn't think they will be able to sustain because it will be too expensive and two probably because they will get more scrutiny as those numbers increase, and three, didn't talk about this with him but other sources have told me that competition is going to start to play a role here. teeple who -- companies who learned and put it into practice ways to reduce those amounts will have a competitive advantage. all of those things are what he means by an sustainable. >> host: finally james glanz
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you also write that there are over 2000 federal data centers. were you able to explore those at all? >> a little bit, yeah. a lot of federal data centers are labeled secret so you can't go there. some of those are the biggest users of electricity. the national security ministry did not invite me in for a visit. i did visit in the course of this reporting and irs, i'm sorry a social of security administration data center in the baltimore area and when you realize the rest of the world, the commercial world where we see all the time is pushing all of the business into data centers, so is the federal government and the increase in the number of those data centers -- i forget when the survey was first done, until the present day is pretty astonishing. we saw it quadrupling or something like that as a number
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in a short period and that's because the federal government is doing the same thing the rest of the world is doing, putting all its business in data centers and that is being done without much scrutiny. >> host: unfortunately we are out of time. james glanz, an investigative reporter with "the new york times," his series is available at nytimes.com or it's it's available on our web site, c-span.org/communicators. mr. glanz, thank you for your time. who. >> guest: thank you peter, pleasure. >> his nodes book is called who stole the american dream and he joins us on booktv. mr. smith who stole the american dream? >> have to get into the whole story of our narrative of the last 30 or 40 years. it happens an alleged alleged economics inside economic system. the middle class gets cut out of the chair of american growth and prosperity and basically american corporate leaders are doing that. is a big power shift in washington and is led by a guy named lewis --
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a supreme court justice before he went on the court. he says you are getting taken to the cleaners by the consumer movement, by the environmental movement and by the labor movement in the enough to get into washington and get in the game. they got in the game and ever since then we have had a policy built since the late 1970s, a policy till that has hurt the middle class and has moved money upheld against gravity, defining the laws of gravity up to the wealthy from the middle-class. so it's both political and economic. it's not just a guy sitting around in a room saying let's screw the middle-class. it happened historically but if you don't understand how what why we are not going to get to a good fix of our situation right now. >> was one example of how the middle-class has gotten her? >> take the 401(k) program. the 401(k) program came in place of lifetime pensions and shifted hundreds of billions of dollars from the accounting of corporations onto the shoulders of the middle-class. take the housing crisis.
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$6 trillion of accumulated wealth in the mortgages and equity in american homes was moved during the housing boom, not the bust, the boom, $6 trillion move from the last homeowners to wall street banks. those are too big and enormous changes in wealth that happened during this period now. >> when did you start forming the idea to write this book? her previous book was the power base, correct? >> to be perfectly honest i had done it just documentaries for pbs, can you afford to retire, for wall street and got me into economics and politics. i was really interested in the housing crisis, sub-prime. it times out the main victims of the sub-prime or prime borrowers, not sub-prime borrowers and when i got into that i began to see the same kind of patterns that i had seen in the burden shift on retirement and i said wait a minute there's a story here about the american middle class and what has happened to them. actually didn't star

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Book TV
CSPAN December 31, 2012 7:00pm-8:30pm EST

Jon Meacham Education. (2012) 'Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power.'

TOPIC FREQUENCY Ms. Stabenow 9, Mr. Merkley 8, Oregon 6, Us 5, America 4, Quincy 3, Michigan 3, James Glanz 3, Mr. Durbin 3, Lucas 2, Washington 2, Ranchers 1, Priority 1, New York 1, Facebook 1, Google 1, Farm Bill 1, C-span 1, United States 1, Irs 1
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